Waterberg Plateau Park The Waterberg Plateau east of Otjiwarongo towers over the surrounding plains, being about 200 metres higher. The 20 kilometre wide and 50 kilometre long table mountain massif consists of porous sandstone. Rainwater trickles through the permeable stone and collects on top of an impervious clay layer at the bottom.
Whilst the plateau is arid on top, there is a lot of surface water and strong permanent springs at the foot of the mountain. The vegetation is, consequently, quite lush, green and diverse. Wild fig trees, fire lillies and coral trees grow here. The area is also rich in fauna.
In 1972 the Waterberg and the surrounding area has been placed under nature conservation, in total an area of approximately 400 square kilometres. The park has acquired the status of a National Park. Endangered species were introduced, for example white and black rhinos, sable antelopes, damara dik-diks or blue wildebeests. And the Waterberg is – as the only place in Namibia – the breeding ground of some Cape Vulture pairs. The huge birds have a wingspan of three metres. They belong to the almost completely extinguished bird species.
The Waterberg Plateau National Park invites the visitors to go on wonderful hikes and to relax in stunning nature. The park offers daily safari drives to the plateau. The excellent Bérnabé-de-la-Bat Restcamp has a restaurant, holiday chalets and a huge swimming pool. And beautiful private lodges and guest farms are available in the Waterberg area.
The Waterberg region is traditionally part of the main settling area of the Herero people. In August 1904, about 40.000 Herero men, women and children under the leadership of Samuel Maharero, were beleaguered by 1600 German colonial soldiers at the Waterberg and, in a devastating battle, almost annihilated. Only a few Herero managed to escape through the dry Kalahari desert (Omaheke) to Botswana. A military cemetery reminds of the tragic events.